A few questions for Donald Rumsfeld

I tried this on Friday, but my OP apparently lost its way in cyberspace. I’m trying again. I can be persistent at times.

Thursday’s Washington Post had a rather lengthy op-ed piece by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. I’m not sure why they gave him nearly half their op-ed page to share the same old blather with their readers, but since they did, I’ve got a few questions about that blather - some sincere, and some dripping with sarcasm, but (IMHO) no less intellectually valid. Here goes:

A plan??? There’s a plan??? You folks keep saying you have one, but supporting evidence is extremely hard to come by.

Do you have any intention of sharing this plan with the American people, or is it one of these “if I told you, I’d have to kill you” things?

Who predicted failure? I’m sure somebody did, but was it anyone with any credibility?

Seriously, Don: the most pessimistic predictions I heard, during that week or so that our troops were held up at the Karbala Gap, were that combat operations might drag on into summer. So please: produce the names of these persons who said we’d fail to dislodge Saddam from power, the dates that they said it, and the words by which they did so.

Because I think you’re bullshitting us. Again.

Don, are you disputing the accuracy of the news out of Afghanistan, or are you coming up with a new definition of ‘success’ with which we haven’t previously been acquainted?

Last I heard, Karzai’s government controlled little besides Kabul. Warlords and drug lords run the rest of the country. (If you recall, popular unhappiness with rule by these sorts was what gave rise to the Taliban to begin with.) Opium growing is the big business these days in Afghanistan.

And since your boss is big on the treatment of women by regimes he doesn’t like, I feel compelled to mention that, though women are no longer legally required to wear the burqa in public, they do so anyway out of fear of the consequences.

What part of this is not true?

When Bremer makes the decision that state-owned businesses are to be privatized, and unlimited foreign investment will be allowed in most economic sectors - both decisions being extremely hard to undo once in effect, btw - how does this not constitute running Iraq, but rather waiting to let the Iraqis make their own decisions about how their country is to be run?

As you say later, in reference to another matter:

You have funny ideas about what it means for them to ‘build their own nation’, that’s all I can say.

I’m not disagreeing here. But was that wise? I’d like to point out that that meant we didn’t have troops on the ground to secure prospective WMD sites from looters, once we’d liberated them from Saddam’s forces.

We are truly lucky that Saddam apparently wasn’t keeping any WMDs. Otherwise, they would surely be in the hands of terrorists by now - solely due to the manner in which you prosecuted the war.

For this reason, I have to believe it wasn’t just a matter of luck - that you and your cabal knew all along that the infamous WMDs, your casus belli for invading Iraq, didn’t exist, and you were bullshitting Congress, the UN, and the American people all along. That, I’m afraid, is the most charitable interpretation available.

There’s more where that came from, Don. You talk about how all major Iraqi cities, and most smaller towns, had municipal councils within two months after combat ceased. I’m not sure what this means, because I honestly have no idea what these councils possess in the way of power, authority, resources, and freedom to act as they see fit. You speak of Iraqis already “serving local, regional and national governing institutions, signing up to serve as police, border guards, soldiers and civil defense forces, starting businesses, creating jobs and building a new nation” as if they were already all but completely running their country; such phraseology makes it sound as if we could pack up and leave in another few weeks, and they’d do fine by themselves.

You know and I know that imagery is completely misleading, and so does the rest of the world. So why are you painting these pictures? Help me out here, because I’m clueless.

What is there to say in response to this? I agree that all these questions should be put directly to the man.

I will add, in response to your comments on the 100,000 strong force, that some military analysts on NPR a couple of weeks ago pointed out that larger occupying forces tend to discourage the type of guerilla attacks that take place daily in Iraq.

They gave the example, among others, of Bosnia, where we went in with a huge force and never lost a soldier during occupation.

Other than that, I will admit that this post is little more than a blatant attempt to get this thread to the top of the list…

If you don’t think that there is a plan you need to read through the proposed budget. Everything has been thought and planned out.

Of course, he neglects to mention that things are not going smoothly. Iraqi police have been shot at several times by American forces. Iraqi police are being recruited from anti-Saddam pro-USA groups and are considered to be enemies by the anti-occupation Iraqis. This is just fomenting internal Iraqi division and confrontation, not stability. The minute the occupation ends is the minute the civil war begins. . . which means the US is tied down there until the country is stabilized. . . which may happen who knows when. . . or never.

In today’s news:

In other words, no matter what Lord Rumsfeld says, Afghanistan is still a mess and will be a mess for quite some time.

Kindly enlighten us. Or perhaps it’s like the planning that gave us the budget request from the White House that didn’t have any money in there at all for the rebuilding of Afghanistan - they simply forgot.

Yes, summarize, please. I’m waiting with bated breath to hear of this plan.

And since you haven’t been around long, please observe that we cite in support of arguments, not instead of them. Explain the plan as best you can in your own words, and link to the details from there.

Some elements of THE PLAN - “$20 million to train Iraqi entrepreneurs in “business fundamentals and concepts” with a four-week course costing $10,000 per pupil, and $82 million to start an Iraqi Coast Guard” (source: http://www.cnn.com/2003/ALLPOLITICS/10/01/sprj.nitop.congress.ap/index.html). It is amazing and embarrassing to know that our elected officials, our supposed representatives, would waste their time and our money on ideas that are so fundementally flawed and ill-conceived. I wonder which subsidiary of Halliburton will be offering the business fundementals courses?

The one you never hear about, telesis2001, just so long as the gravy train keeps pumping.

If you ask me, this is pretty much all Karl Rove’s fault. In his mind the political motive is the only motive. Now, in most cases this makes the correct course of action rather obvious for a neo-con trying to sustain his pubbie base.

Taxes? Lower 'em.

Regulations? Get rid of 'em.

Special interests? Appease 'em.

Two opposing special interests? Which has more money?

War? Just do it!

Occupation? Umm…

Now, if Karl Rove had real foresight he would’ve seen that an invasion of Iraq, and the subsequent occupation, would put this administration in a tricky situation, especially in the political sense.

But now that we’re there, he only has two options: bring in more troops and money, which would piss off the conservatives who were expecting a quick swoop and smash operation. Let the U.N. take over, which pisses off the American Pride constituency. Or, bail out, let the place collapse, and piss off… well… everybody. Especially those who see this as a chance to spread the “American Way”.

This situation reminds of the story of the cow standing between two patches of grass. With both patches being the exact same distance, the cow can’t decide which one’s better. The indecision eventually causes ol’ Betsy to starve to death.

I think Karl Rove can’t decide which action would have a more negative political impact, and as a result, Iraq is starving.

Don’t forget that The Plan™ includes $1 million to build a museum demonizing Saddam Hussein. Yeah, screw running water or the power grid or a viable police force, we gotta get some home-grown propaganda going already.

Especially since such propaganda shouldn’t be needed. What, we gotta raise Saddam’s status from super-evil to ultra-evil?

“Saddam Hussein is evil, like, really evil. The evilist thing since sliced evil.”

(Betcha a nickel they show that picture of the statue falling.)

Yeah except the horse and the rider often think differently.

But let us not forget the main objective which is trying to find justification for the war:

Here’s your answer:

Reports that say that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns - - the ones we don’t know we don’t know. And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tend to be the difficult ones.[/quite]

quite a quote quoth the raven before he quit.

“If you ask me, this is pretty much all Karl Rove’s fault. In his mind the political motive is the only motive.” - Weird with Words

Karl Rove is not in the foreign policy arena. He orchestrates how the bush administration sells it’s policy to local politicians and the U.S. public. He negotiates with political allies and rivals alike, and if they get too *uppity", he knows how to destroy thier political careers (i.e. Cynthia McKinney - http://www.gregpalast.com/printerfriendly.cfm?artid=229). I would expect that he was very much a part of including those now infamous “16 words” in the 2003 State of the Union speech and any of the insane lies that needed to be sold the American public (the hapless sheep that they have become) during this entire Iraq episode. In fact, his weakness appears to be that he does not care about or cannot accurately conceptualize how policy statements (foreign or domestic) to the local population quickly become intenational headlines and shape international public opinion of the U.S. (thus the old Europe, new Europe debacle).

Perhaps I’ve got it wrong, but I was under the impression that if Bush made a decision, it probably started as Karl Rove’s opinion. I don’t think Karl Rove decided how to go about this war, but I strongly suspect that he was one of the major forces (Wolfowitz, Pearle, and Cheney included) in deciding to go to war, come hell or high-water. Furthermore, I suspect that while Wolfowitz, Pearle, and Cheney were at least pure in their intentions, Karl Rove probably just envisioned a graph showing Bush approval rating going up, and up, and up…

Though to be fair, selling George W. Bush on the idea of a war with Iraq was probably about as difficult as convincing Michael Jackson to allow a bunch of eight-year-olds to sleep over at his place. :wink:

These guys must be smoking crack. They are desperate for help in Iraq

so they get France and Germany to at least not veto their proposal in the UN by including some things in the proposal. . . and when they proposal is presented it does not even come close to what was agreed and everybody, including Kofi Annan, is pissed off.

Well, among other things I wonder when Rummy changed his mind about the time required to “prove” that Saddam was an imminent menace.

David Kay is giving his first report on his team’s findings to a closed session of a Congressional Committee today (2 Oct.) and word on CNN is that he asks for another $600 million to do the job. It wasn’t stated if this is just an increment of funding or if that is to complete the work.

When asked about this Rummy said that the job of finding weapons is very difficult and there hasn’t nearly been enough time to do the job.

Now this is with us in command of the country and able to go where we please. Yet prewar he said that the UN weapons team was taking too long. And he also said, prewar, that we already had enough data to know that the weapons were there and ready for use.

What changed his tune?